Sleep health management in community pharmacy: Where are we and where should we be heading?

Affiliation

Basheti MM(1), Gordon C(2), Bawa Z(3), Grunstein R(4), Saini B(5).
Author information:
(1)School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, NSW, Australia; Sleep and Circadian Research Group, Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, NSW, Australia. Electronic address: [Email]
(2)Sleep and Circadian Research Group, Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, NSW, Australia; Susan Wakil School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.
(3)School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, NSW, Australia; Brain and Mind Centre, School of Psychology, Faculty of Science, The University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.
(4)Sleep and Circadian Research Group, Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, NSW, Australia; School of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, NSW, Australia; Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
(5)School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, NSW, Australia; Sleep and Circadian Research Group, Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Poor sleep health is now recognised as a significant risk factor for chronic diseases and is associated with considerable comorbidity and mortality. Community pharmacists are primary care clinicians with an integral role in sleep health promotion and chronic sleep disorder management; however, it is unclear to what extent this is currently being undertaken or what the perspectives of Australian community pharmacists regarding their role in sleep health are. OBJECTIVES: To explore community pharmacists' current sleep health practice and perspectives on the potential future of sleep health care in community pharmacy. METHODS: Qualitative semi-structured interviews were carried out with a maximally varied, convenience-based purposive sample of community pharmacists. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and subjected to, in sequence; an inductive analysis followed by a deductive approach where the inductively derived thematic structure was used as a framework. RESULTS: Twenty-five community pharmacists from two Australian states were interviewed. Insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) were the most frequently encountered sleep disorders in community pharmacy presentations. Four key themes were derived from the data: 1) Preparedness, 2) Approach, 3) Capabilities and 4) What needs to change? All participants reported that their sleep health knowledge was insufficient and emphasized the need for more education and training. Although some were engaged in providing OSA services, none of the participants offered services for insomnia or other sleep disorders. Time/task pressures, low health system/health care professional sleep health recognition/awareness and the lack of standardised pharmacy-specific sleep health management guidelines were commonly cited barriers for sleep health service provision. CONCLUSION: Community pharmacists commonly manage day-to-day sleep health; however, most expressed a need for increased sleep health recognition/awareness by the health system, targeted education/training for pharmacists and support for the future provision of community pharmacy-delivered sleep health services. With the appropriate implementation strategies, community pharmacists could utilise their availability and accessibility to improve the future of primary care sleep health management.